Since I’ve ventured into the foreign outpost known as the Asian market, I’ve experimented in the kitchen with some interesting results. This one, a flash-boiled vermicelli noodle with seared pancetta and yellow onion, held together with a slurry of goat cheese, soy sauce, and spices, is worth repeating here. Just a few ingredients — some Oriental, others Mediterranean — come together in a pot and a pan. In about 10 minutes, they end up twirled on a fork or in chopsticks, and into your mouth. It’s fun to make and to eat, I think.
Here’s the “recipe” for one serving:
1 cup of water
2 “spools” of mung bean vermicelli
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 disc of pancetta (1/4 inch slice)
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh, mild goat cheese (chevre)
*1 tablespoon spice mixture with equal parts Hungarian paprika, cumin, and curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste (benefits from a lot of freshly-ground black pepper)
Slice up the pancetta into little lardons and add to a hot saute pan with the yellow onion. Melt the fat. When the meat is just about crisp and the onion cooked through with a sear, remove from heat. Place a medium sauce pan on the burner with the 1 cup of water. Once boiling, drop in the vermicelli and cut the heat. It’ll be limp in about one minute, and then you can add the soy sauce, goat cheese, and spice mixture to the hot liquid. Using a fork, lift the noodles up and down to thoroughly combine. Top with the pancetta/onion mixture, add a pinch of salt to set off flavors, along with generous turns of black pepper.
*The picture above includes the “spice mixture;” the noodle image below does not.
Had there been eggs and thyme in the refrigerator, they would have been beaten and scrambled with the pancetta/onion mixture for the best result.